Sunday, August 3, 2008

Balance Your Hormones Naturally

By : Darrell Miller

Many people ask what estrogen dominance is and if there are natural therapies available to help bring hormones back into balance. Estrogen dominance is quite common in perimenopause and can start as early as your late 30s and last for as long as ten years. As we age, we ovulate regularly and, following ovulation, progesterone is secreted from the ovaries so women tend to have more steady estrogen production from the ovaries during periomenopausal years, which creates an imbalance of hormones. Typical symptoms of this phase include heavier menstrual bleeding, tender breasts before menstruation, increased irritability, constipation, fatigue, and easy weight gain. Those women who are younger tend to experience testosterone dominance.

In order to balance hormones you can begin with some basics. Supplementing with 500 mg of magnesium at bedtime and 250 mg of B6 in the morning for 10 days before your period is a good start. It is also a good idea to decrease or eliminate excess salt and red meat. If you do eat red meat, make sure that it is organic and grass fed. For those women in perimenopause who want to bind excess estrogen, you can use two tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily or during the first half of your cycle at least. Additionally, black cohosh, red clover, and soy isoflavones can help quite a bit. Red clover can increase breast tenderness and soy may not be ideal if it upsets your digestion, so be cautious with them.

If these suggestions are not sufficient for you, progesterone can be increased by supplementing with the chaste tree berry herb. However, it is important to first consult with a physician for timing and doing. Evening primrose oil can also help to promote progesterone production. For excess testosterone, saw palmetto is very effective as it promotes testosterone excretion. Progesterone creams are also available to run on the arms and legs which can help ease perimenopause symptoms.

Another common concern is nutrient deficiencies that are caused by birth control pills. This is especially important for those women who have been taking the pill for over seven years. Studies have shown that B vitamins are the most commonly depleted nutrients with birth control use, which are crucial to nerve health. Any women taking any form of birth control should simultaneously take a high-potency B-complex vitamin. Folic acid is important for nerves and brain, and also is necessary for cell repair and development. Another commonly depleted nutrient is magnesium, with symptoms including muscle cramps, weakness, insomnia, kidney stones, bone loss, depression, nervousness, anxiety, and high blood pressure. Zinc is another essential mineral, important for wound healing.

For those women who experience asthma, asthma can be directly related to a hormone imbalance and natural anti-inflammatories are the key to reducing symptoms. However, they will not provide immediate short-term relief. The best anti-inflammatory is turmeric. Other deeply pigmented foods also contain natural anti-inflammatories, such as anthocyanadins and epicatechins. Be sure to eat foods with natural anti-inflammatories regularly. Whenever possible, you should breathe through your nose, as your nose hairs are designed to filter and warm the air before it reaches your longs. Also, when you feel asthmatic try breathing less and more shallowly, as it signals your brain to cause oxygen to be more aggressively taken into the blood. Hormone imbalances cause a great deal of stress, but with the supplementation of the above mentioned herbs one can experience relieve over time.

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More information on progesterone and other balancing herbs is available at VitaNet ®, LLC Health Food Store.

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